Did YOU know we (the U.S.) had a Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration? I didn't either.
Sam Witten(R), US Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Karen Abu Salem(2ndR), UN humanitarian representative, visit a Palestinian elementary school at al-Jazlun refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.... (AFP/Abbas Momani)
What's not so surprising is that this Bureau lives at Foggy Bottom.
Reflecting the best humanitarian traditions of the American people, the U.S. Government funds protection and life-sustaining relief for millions of refugees and victims of conflict around the globe. The United States also admits tens of thousands of refugees annually for permanent resettlement. The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), headed by Acting Assistant Secretary Samuel M. Witten, is central to these efforts. Within the government, PRM has primary responsibility for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs.
For the time being, I'm going to skip the multitude of sub-bureaucracies involved in the Bureau [and the damage they are undoubtedly doing] but I'll try to come back to that at some point. I'm signing up for "Democracy, Human Rights and Refugee" email updates, even as we "speak".
Now, what was I blogging? ... Oh yeah, now I remember.
US promises Palestinian refugees more aid
You think that's bad? Just you wait....
JALAZON CAMP, West Bank (AFP) - The United States will provide additional aid to Palestinian refugees, including those living in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday.
In January, the US government contributed 40 million dollars to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), and Sam Witten, assistant secretary of state in charge of refugees, said more would be forthcoming.
"We will be making additional substantial contributions in the near future," he told reporters during a visit to an UNRWA-built girls' primary school and clinic in the Jalazon refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Much of that support will go to the more than one million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, which has been under crippling economic sanctions since the Islamist Hamas movement seized power there in June.
"The United States is not abandoning the people of Gaza and our additional contribution will be of assistance to them," Witten said, adding that Washington is the largest bilateral donor to UNRWA.
I'm going to go buy dog food now, because if I so much as finish reading that article, I'm sure I'll have a nervous breakdown. And I do so want to make it to Parents' Weekend this weekend.
Just one more link and one more quote. See also the UNRWA profile of this Jalazone Refugee Camp where Sam Witten had his picture taken.
"During the intifadah,
the camp was particularly active."
No comment from America's ally, the state of Israel?
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks at a business conference in Tokyo February 26, 2008... Olmert said on Tuesday he would make every effort to reach an agreement with Palestinians that would lead to a two-state solution to a decades-old conflict. REUTERS/Moshe Milner/GPO/Handout